Economy & Business

Business news

When AT&T, a leading Internet provider, proposed a massive merger with Time Warner, a huge media conglomerate, the question many people asked was: Will I have to pay more for my TV? On Wednesday, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee quizzed the CEOs of the two companies — over and over posing basically the same question: What will the $85.4 billion merger mean for the prices that consumers may have to pay? AT&T is the second-largest wireless Internet provider and one of the largest...

President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, announcing his decision in a statement Thursday. As attorney general, Pruitt has made no secret of his disdain for the EPA. His official biography calls him "a leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda." He has repeatedly challenged the agency's rules in court, and he has even sued the EPA for an allegedly cozy "sue and settle" relationship with...

Amy Scott

A new post-election poll by Bloomberg asked if Donald Trump should sell all his businesses “so that neither he nor his family” could profit from his actions as president. Twenty-six percent of respondents said he should, but sixty-nine percent answered “that goes too far.”

Starbucks is opening 12,000 more stores

Dec 7, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

It seems like there clearly is no such thing as too much. Starbucks announced today that it plans to open 12,000 new stores worldwide over the next five years — half in the United States, and half in China — the latter is a newer market of special interest to the company. Also, they plan to generate $1 billion in revenue over the next five years. You'd think Starbucks has had their fill of stores everywhere in the country, right? Well, one response to my tweet today summed it up: @kairyssdal ... The holiday competition to warm the cold cockles of our hearts is sure heating up. Last month, weeks even before Thanksgiving, British retailer John Lewis loosed the first volley with its annual Christmas ad. The long, cinematic commercial had nearly everything: a cute kid, an ambitious dog (named Buster) — and a dash of humor to thread them together. Now, that powerhouse ad finally has a worthy rival — from Poland. Since Allegro, a Polish online...

Chart of the day: The U.S. sells China a lot of soybeans

Dec 7, 2016

Donald Trump has named Iowa Governor Terry Branstad ambassador to China . Branstad has a long relationship with the country where our economic ties , and particularly our agriculture ties, run deep. For what it's worth, Iowa is one of the nation's top soybean producer s.

China welcomes Trump’s choice for U.S. ambassador

Dec 7, 2016
Annie Baxter

China's Foreign Ministry today welcomed President-elect Donald Trump's choice of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as the next ambassador to China. Branstad is a long-time friend of Chinese President Xi Jinping. And, as a farm-belt governor, he knows the value of agricultural trade with China, one of our top agricultural export markets . Last year, China imported more than $20 billion in food and agricultural products from the U.S. Branstad could play an important role in preserving the...

Let's get ready to rumble

Dec 7, 2016
Kai Ryssdal and Andrea Seabrook

We've got new appointments for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Association, and ambassador to China. Kai and Andrea talk about Trump's latest picks, where they come from, and how they could shape policy for the next four years.

Pandora Premium takes on Apple Music and Spotify

Dec 7, 2016
Reema Khrais

Another day, another music-streaming service with a plan to win subscribers over. Pandora Media, known for internet radio, says it will launch Pandora Premium next year. The service will compete with subscription services Spotify and Apple Music. It will also be ad-free and cost $10 a month. Pandora's edge, or so it says? Data. Lots of it.

Tai Boxley needs a hysterectomy. The 34-year-old single mother has uterine prolapse, a condition that occurs when the muscles and ligaments supporting the uterus weaken, causing severe pain, bleeding and urine leakage. Boxley and her 13-year-old son have health insurance through her job as an administrative assistant in Tulsa, Okla. But the plan has a deductible of $5,000 apiece, and Boxley's doctor said he won't do the surgery until she prepays her share of the cost. His office estimates...

Delayed overtime rules sow uncertainty

Dec 7, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

Drew Broussard, 28, is relieved that his employer, a large performing-arts venue in New York City, has decided to stick with the Obama Administration's new overtime rules, even though a judge last month issued a preliminary injunction to block them. He now gets overtime pay. “Obviously the more-money thing is nice,” said Broussard, who runs theatrical events and makes $41,000 per year in base pay. Broussard said he sometimes works as many as 50 hours per week, and is looking forward to having...

Marketplace for Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dec 7, 2016
Annie Baxter

A new poll found most Americans give President-elect Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt on potential conflicts of interest. Meanwhile, Trump selected a China ambassador today, and many workers are getting overtime pay even though the White House's new rules are on hold. Plus: Silicon Valley thinks it may have a solution for the job destruction it helped create.

Video stores are back from the dead

Dec 7, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Since the dawn of the new millennium, there is a ton of technology that has been rendered obsolete. Remember cassette tapes, floppy disks, and the Walkman? Today, they’re all pretty much useless. But, there is a thriving nostalgia market, and one of the holdouts that it’s fueling may surprise you: the video store. Believe it or not, video stores are still out there. Both owners and customers say that the stores offer a variety of films that cannot be found elsewhere. Erin Geiger Smith is a...

Pfizer faces record fine in the UK over epilepsy drug

Dec 7, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about how the Trump administration might handle the proposed $85 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner; a decline in mortgage applications; Pfizer's record fine in the U.K. over an epilepsy drug; and Japanese tourists who are trying to learn more about Pearl Harbor.

How to support yourself after the robot revolution

Dec 7, 2016
Steve Gardner

Here’s a startling prediction: if current labor trends continue, one out of three American men, ages 25-54, will be out of work by mid-century. That’s what former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers expects. “Job destruction caused by technology is not a futuristic concern,” Summers wrote this fall. “It is something we have been living with for two generations.” Contract jobs, gig work and robots have all made work more precarious. Silicon Valley pioneered many of the changes, and now...